ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski announced April 25 that the NBA is allowing practice facilities to open May 1 in cities that are loosening stay-at-home orders. Not even a full 48 hours later, the NBA released an official statement that advised teams/players to refrain from participating in these open facilities until May 8 at the earliest. The statement on April 27 came hours after team officials stated they are pushing against the return in order to maintain player and staff safety.
Rumors circulated earlier in the month of April about a possible “25-day return” to the NBA season, which discussed having players train remotely for 11 days and then proceed to league-wide training camps for the last 14 days. Sports fans have had a fair share of theories regarding the continuance of the NBA 2019-20 season, and with this news transpiring, it is starting to seem that it will be a matter of weeks until a return of basketball operations.
Teams in cities that are still undergoing strict stay-at-home orders were told that the “NBA will work with franchises to help find alternative arrangements for their players.” When facilities begin to open, teams are still on certain restrictions- no more than four players allowed in the facilities at all times, no head or assistant coaches allowed, no practices or training sessions must be held, and other gymnasiums or fitness centers are still off limits.
The quarterfinals of the 2020 playoffs were originally set for April 18, but were postponed alongside the remainder of the regular season. NBA officials, players, and owners immediately began constructing ways to continue playing out calendar games when the hiatus was issued on March 11. Although NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is allowing facilities to re-open, he is still hesitant on whether the season will continue.
“Commissioner Adam Silver and owners still believe they need more time for a clearer picture on whether, when or how they could possibly resume the season,” stated Wojnarowski’s article.